Geshe Lhakdor – Atisha’s Lamp For the Path To Enlightenment
Atisha, the eleventh-century Indian Buddhist scholar and saint, came to Tibet at the invitation of the king of Western Tibet, Lha Lama Yeshe Wí_, and his nephew Jangchub Wo. His coming initiated the period of the second transmission of Buddhism to Tibet, the revival which followed the persecution of Buddhism by the Tibetan king Langdarma in the ninth century, formative for the Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Atisha’s most celebrated text, entitled Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, was written for the Tibetan people at the request of Jangchub Wo. It sets forth the entire Buddhist path within the framework of three levels of motivation on the part of the practitioner, represented by the Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana paths. Atisha’s text thus became the source of the lamrim tradition, or graduated stages of the path to enlightenment, an approach to spiritual practice incorporated within all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ven. Geshe Lhakdor has served His Holiness the Dalai Lama as his translator and religious assistant since 1989. In this capacity he has accompanied His Holiness to many important conferences and forums throughout the world. He has translated numerous books by His Holiness from English to Tibetan and from Tibetan to English. Geshe Lhakdor is a trustee of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, established by His Holiness. He is also the Director of the Central Archive of His Holiness, a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Tibetan Classics in Montreal, Canada, and an Honorary Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is now the Director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and head of Science Education Project.